The meeting of the Council of the Heads of the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation will be held in Tashkent on June 23-24, 2016.
Since its establishment in 2001 thanks to the efforts made by member-states significant progress in improving the activity of the organization, including the establishment and strengthening of fruitful cooperation between its members, as well as with other global and regional institutions, has been achieved.
Uzbekistan coherently supports strict compliance with the goals, objectives and principles established in the Charter of the SCO which aimed at ensuring the safety and stability, improving the socio-economic well-being of the region, increasing the performance and international prestige of the organization.
Tashkent attaches a special importance to economic dimension of cooperation within the SCO, favours the intensification of contacts for the development and implementation of mutually beneficial joint projects by introducing relevant financial instruments, including the Development Bank of the SCO. From Uzbekistan perspectives, creating a multilateral funding mechanisms priority socio-economic and infrastructure programs within the organization will allow effectively address common tasks of the Organization.
It is the third time that Uzbekistan chairs the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. During two previous summit meetings of heads of state of SCO member-countries held in Tashkent conceptual documents, which laid a solid foundation for further improvement of the institutional framework and streamlining of the legal framework, and strengthening the transparency of the structure that excludes confrontational or bloc orientation have been signed.
During the first chairmanship of Uzbekistan in the SCO (in 2003-2004) important documents in terms of the institutional establishment of the organization were concluded: Regulations on the status of the observer at the SCO and Regulation of SCO interaction with observers. As a result, in 2004, Mongolia gained an observer status, followed by India, Pakistan and Iran in 2005.
Furthermore, since January 2004 the Executive Committee of the Regional Antiterrorist Structure (RATS) of the SCO has been operating in Tashkent. This permanent body has become an effective tool and platform for combining efforts and practical cooperation between law enforcement bodies and special services of the SCO member-states in the fight against radical, violent extremism and separatism, organized crime.
In 2004, the Institute of Security Councils Secretaries’s meeting was introduced at the initiative of Uzbekistan, which has become a coordinating and consultative mechanism for security cooperation in the SCO framework. The first meeting in this format was held in Tashkent in June of the same year. Since then, they are conducted yearly and play an important role in the study, analysis and evaluation of the security situation, the coordination of efforts of the SCO countries to stand together against the challenges and threats.
In addition, in 2004 an important document - the Agreement on cooperation in fight against illegal trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and their precursors, was signed that created a legal framework for multilateral cooperation to counter the threat of drugs.
In 2010 (during the second chairmanship of Uzbekistan in the SCO) a number of substantial package of documents was concluded aimed at further development of cooperation, expanding external contacts of the Organization, an effective solution to problems of peace, tranquillity and steady progress in the vast region.
The adoption of the SCO Rules of Procedure in 2010 became another important step in further development of the Organization and improvement of the legal framework of its activities. No uniform rules of governing the development, approval and adoption of regulatory legal acts existed within the Organization before the document’s adoption. One of its main achievements was the consolidation of the SCO basic principle - decision-making within an organization made only by consensus.
The Second Tashkent summit also approved the Regulations on procedure for admission new members to the SCO that was one of notable results of Uzbekistan’s chairmanship at the Organization. This document, representing a significant step in creating the legal framework for the SCO’s further expansion, established the basic criteria to be met by states that strive to obtain full membership at the Organization.
During the second chairmanship of Uzbekistan in the SCO, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Tashkent in April 2010 and the Joint Declaration on Cooperation between the Secretariats of the UN and the SCO was signed. This document marked the beginning of official cooperation between the two organizations. The Declaration has crucial role for strengthening the legal framework, enhancing the SCO’s international prestige and development of its contacts with UN agencies.
The same year an Agreement on cooperation in the fight against crime, which allowed strengthening the coordination of policies of the member-states of the organization in the face of traditional and new threats, was concluded.
Last year the Republic of Uzbekistan once again assumed the chairmanship of the SCO for the period of 2015-2016, which coincides with the 15th anniversary of the organization’s establishment.
Such tasks as the development of measures to strengthen the joint efforts on addressing challenges in the area of security, development of cooperation, ensuring progress of the member-states, further expansion of the organization’s international relations remain the focus of attention during this period.
Thanks to Uzbekistan’s active efforts, concrete results in the key areas of the SCO activity are achieved over the past year. Thus, the Memorandum on granting the Kingdom of Cambodia the status of dialogue-partner was signed in September 2015. Similar documents were also concluded with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nepal this year. Negotiations on the admission of the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan - the largest countries in South Asia to the SCO, are being continued.
At the present time in Uzbekistan preparation to the main event of the Organization - the Council of Heads of SCO member states, is in the full swing. Particular attention is paid to the content filling of the Tashkent summit, including the development of a package of documents that will be adopted at the end of the meeting. It is expected the signing of the Tashkent Declaration on Fifteenth Anniversary of the SCO, Anti-drug strategy of the SCO member-states for the 2017 ? 2022 and the Program of Actions for its implementation. In addition, the Plan of measures on implementation of the Agreement on cooperation in combating crime, as well as the Plan of Implementation of the SCO Development Strategy till 2025 are expected to be adopted.
Thus, the Republic of Uzbekistan, as the chairman of the SCO, has contributed greatly to its development, the strengthening of the regulatory framework, enhancing the prestige of this structure in the world. There is no doubt that the upcoming Tashkent summit to be held in the fifteenth anniversary of the establishment of the SCO will not only become an important political event of the year, but also open a new page in the history of the Organization.